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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Statistics Matter, Even in Times of Tragedy

Author: Reilly Capps/Wednesday, September 18, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

By Reilly Capps 

It's awful to hear news like Navy Yard, but every news story about anything tragic should, by the third paragraph, give some perspective and context about the tragedy. 

For instance, any mention of a plane crash should say, up high, "Air travel remains among the safest forms of transportation, with only one death for every 45 million flights." 

And any mention of gun deaths should say, high up, "though there have been a number of recent, high-profile examples, the overall number of rampage killings in the United States has remained fairly steady for the past 30 years." 

Of course this doesn't mean that the shooting was a giant kick in the ass to the nation, it only means that we ought not worry about our society going to Hades in a suitcase. There were almost exactly as many rampage killings per capita in America in 1900 as there are today. In other words, we've always been awful. 

Click here for a fantastic graph that is great because it mentions something that almost no other graph does, the ultimate perspective and context, as it says at the top: "Lifetime odds of dying: 1 in 1." If that doesn't make you squeeze your sweetheart tighter, I don't know what will. 

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